‘Richard and cello’ (2016)

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Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30cm, 16 x 12in.  Commission.

I borrowed the pile of books from a Hockney.

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Blogging a painting: V

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More cheating — I’ve discovered acrylic markers.  The Liquidex ones come in two thicknesses; these are the thin ones.  Brilliant for lettering and fine details where even using a fine brush would be clumsy.  Only trouble is the colours can’t be mixed, so they’re only really useful where pure colours are needed.  As in this Louis Vuitton pattern.

UPDATE (August 2017):  Blogging the painting clearly hasn’t got it finished!  The problem is I gave it an elaborate background which I don’t think works.  I’ll simplify the background and finish it off.

Blogging a painting: IV

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Highlights and shadows.  Do I start with a dark hand and paint in the highlights, or start with a light hand and add shadows?  I seem to remember reading that Greek icon painters did it one way, and Russian icon painters the other (can’t remember which way round this went.)

I usually start in the middle, by painting the whole hand with that mid tone on the wrist, then I’ll add dark and light, in that order.  However, with such a limited pigment range, I think the hand looks a bit 15th century.  So I’ll probably add touches of other colours – blue/grey and beige/green – later.  Always steal from the masters.

Blogging a painting: II

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Heads, hands and phones. Pencil outlines for the foreground objects.

My first reaction is surprise how BIG and GRAPHIC everything looks (this is a 3 foot canvas.) You plan a painting in your head, and you might mock up a version on your mobile or laptop, but it’s still something of a surprise seeing it large. I like how the various planes are crushed together, but hope the big head on the left doesn’t unbalance the composition.

Blogging a painting: I

I’m starting a new painting and have decided to blog the painting process.  For two reasons:  First, I have three unfinished canvasses in my small flat, and don’t want a fourth, so blogging a picture should ensure I finish it. Second, I’d appreciate any feedback along the way.

The picture will be based on a press photo I found online (to be revealed in due course), and I’ll start by transferring what I want from the photo to the canvas using the age-old ‘grid’ method.

I’m using the grid drawing tool at sporkforge.com to add a 36 x 24 grid to the digital photo (my canvas is 36″ x 24″), and I’m now, with pencil and ruler, covering the canvas with one inch squares.

Is grid drawing cheating?  Well, if it was good enough for Dürer.